I’m in DAR ES SALAAM

Well I’ve arrived safely to the country I’ve been dreaming off for quite some time. I booked a hotel and a taxi ride so I felt less nervous upon arrival. I only managed to sleep a few hours but mind you the flight was 7 hrs, then change planes so there is only so much sleeping time alloted.

I arrived, paid $50 for  my visa no questions about having a one way ticket both at heathrow or in Tanzania.  I do wonder why all the american money goes.  A journalist report…hmmm. $50 for americans on holiday, $150 for asians on business ( i didn’t catch which country), Pakistanis pay $200, Ireland pays $100. All american dollars. Even at the hotel, there rates are in dollars. I’m not so excited about this. I’d prefer to pay in Tanzanian shillings but will see how everything goes. It would be ridicoulous to be changing money for dollars all the time.

My hotel is a spacious hole in the wall, and my itty bitty window lets me hear all the constructin work outside. I took a nap as soon as arrived to the hotel 11am and crashed for an hour. I didn’t hear a thing.

It’s 10 hr time difference to the west coast, 7hrs east coast and next week it will be 11 hrs difference. Let me know when you change the clocks- does that make it 12 hrs then?  They are 2 hrs later than Greenwich mean time (england time) and 3 hrs later next week.

I wandered around and am not so impressed with the city. There is definitely no comparison to Capetown. How could there be. I stand out here. I’ve only seen a few other white folks. People are friendly but I feel everyone has an underlying reason for anything they do. I never enjoy this.

I went to the tourist center, went the wrong direction and finally found it, having first talking (unwillingly) to a guy on the street trying to get me for a safari or Zanzibar. I was taking into a small restaurant, through the back where an elder gentleman behind a desk sat. He was going to give me all info I needed to know. I just wanted the tourist center. Finally, I left. THe tourist center was no help. A woman behind a desk with a pile of papers. Not sure what she does all day but certainly doesn’t make a traveler feel more comfortable. Thank goodness I have my guidebook!  I decided I should buy my Zanzibar ticket… and I happened to run into the same man. ANd next thing I knew there were 5 men in my face wanting me to go in a different direction as there are 5 different ferry companies offering different times and length. Back I went to the man in the office. I’m not used to this.  GRRR… It’s all a part of the travel experience.

Needless to say I’m overwhelmed but I have to remember I’m also quite tired. It’s stressful, everything is new, I have to be on my feet and on guard at all times. I imagine in the coming days, I will feel more at ease. I can’t wait to meet travelers. In the last 5 hrs, I’ve been wanting a friend…. Byron, you were suppose to come to Tanzania, not Paris.

I booked a ticket to Zanzibar so will see how things go. I knew if I stayed another day in DAR I wouldn’t be so happy!

Love you all,

thanks for all the comments- I appreciate and look forward to them!

Lauren

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